Expanding Access for the World’s Most Vulnerable Patients
Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer, and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, comments on the new Access to Medicines Index:
Access to essential medical treatment and care remains a significant challenge for patients around the world, particularly in countries where resources are limited, healthcare workers are few, and large populations live in poverty. As a physician, I’ve seen first-hand the sheer unmet medical need, and as a business leader, I feel fortunate to work for a company that is dedicated to delivering access to medicines and care to these countries.
Today’s publication of the fourth biannual Access to Medicine Index (ATMI) reports that industry has made significant progress in improving access to safe, effective medicines and vaccines in developing countries. It is heartening to hear the progress we are making, including at Johnson & Johnson, a company that has a longstanding commitment to global health. We continue to make a difference in enhancing access and advancing healthcare for the long-term for the most vulnerable patients.
Ensuring access to our products is at the heart of all that we do. This drives our relentless commitment to continuously innovate and explore new access pathways for our transformational medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics. We’ve made great progress since 2012, thanks in part to the establishment of new, and the expansion of existing, collaborations with key partners.
Last year, we formed the Janssen Global Public Health group, bringing under one umbrella our efforts to research, develop, and deliver medical innovations to address unmet public health needs in resource-limited settings. We’re piloting new financing models and equitable pricing strategies to improve the affordability of our medicines not only in least developed countries, but also in emerging countries where many continue to live in poverty.
We are advancing a large, diverse R&D pipeline designed to prevent and treat illnesses suffered by vulnerable patient populations, including children and adolescents. Our pediatric pipeline – recognized by the ATMI as the industry’s largest – is an example of our commitment to children. This commitment extends to our drug donations, which include our recently launched pediatric HIV treatment initiative, New Horizons Advancing Pediatric HIV Treatment, in sub-Saharan Africa, and the expansion of our mebendazole donation to treat children with intestinal worms through Children Without Worms. We’ve also introduced new treatment options for patients living with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and hepatitis C, and launched innovative collaborations to share our clinical trial data to enhance public health and advance science and medicine.
Even with these efforts, all of us at Johnson & Johnson know that more can and must be done. With each publication, the ATMI provides us with valuable feedback on our programs, including areas for improvement. Motivated by the progress we’ve made and the opportunities we see, we continue to innovate, evolve and expand our efforts to sustainably provide lifesaving medicines to reach as many patients as possible worldwide.
To learn more about Johnson & Johnson’s efforts since 2012, click here. For more about the Access to Medicine Index and the efforts of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies to improve access to medicine in developing countries, click here.
Dr. Paul Stoffels is Chief Scientific Officer, and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. In this role, he works with R&D leaders across Johnson & Johnson to set the enterprise-wide innovation agenda and is a member of the Johnson & Johnson Executive Committee. He began his career as a physician in Africa, focusing on HIV and tropical diseases research. Paul chairs the Johnson & Johnson R&D Management Committee and provides oversight to the Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) and the Johnson & Johnson innovation centers, with the goal of catalyzing innovative science and technology.